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Has Some Serious Bag Baggage, Part 9

, , , , , | Right | July 24, 2021

I work as a cashier in an organic-focused grocery store. Because of the health crisis, my store has large plexiglass barriers separating cashiers from customers. Masks are required. Many customers bring in their own bags rather than using our paper bags, but we are no longer able to touch them or bag them. Customers have to do it themselves.

I’m autistic. It’s not severe and I’m fairly good at masking when needed, but I’m awful at reading people and situations, and I’m even worse at figuring out what to do if someone doesn’t tell me very specifically what they want.

An old woman with one of those personal carts comes through my line. She has her personal cart folded in one of our store carts. She’s a semi-regular and always has that cart with her, even though she can hardly lift it out of the store cart.

She struggles to get it out, so much so that the customer behind her rushes in to help her while I’m scanning the old woman’s items. She has her own bags and knows she has to bag herself, but she doesn’t. She just lets them pile up.

Me: “Do you have a store card?”

Customer: “No.”

She stands by the card reader and waits until I’m done. When she’s done paying, she finally goes over to bag her items.

She only has a few bags, so she tells me to use paper bags for everything else while she packs her large insulated bag as heavy as she possibly can. The bags I pack are much less heavy. Suddenly, when trying to load them into her now unfolded personal cart, she looks like she’s about to drop over with the insulated bag in her arms. She struggles with that bag and then puts it down. She then reaches for one I packed and acts like it’s even heavier. Suddenly, she starts yelling.

Customer: “I’m ninety-three years old!

Me: “Okay, so… do you want to empty that bag out a bit?”

She doesn’t answer, and she eventually manages to shove it in her cart. By this point, I don’t really know what to do. She acts like all the bags are insanely heavy, so I start pulling stuff out to lighten the paper bags. She’s not answering any of my suggestions.

I lighten some of the bags to try and make it easier on her. All the while, she’s grumbling about how stupid I am.

Customer: *Scoffs* “Stupid girl. I’m ninety-three!”

Then, despite all her whining about how heavy the bags were, she starts emptying the bags I lightened and puts heavy items in the heavy bags she already shoved into her cart. She crumples the paper bags, or rips them, and tosses them onto my register.

Customer: “Hey, you didn’t ask me if I had a store card! I didn’t get my discounts!”

Me: “I did ask you. You said no.”

Customer: “And you made the bags too heavy! I’m an elderly woman!”

Me: “I didn’t pack your cold bag. I even lightened the bags I packed when I saw you struggling. Do you want any help out to your car?”

Customer: “No! I’m waiting on a taxi!”

Finally, she grumbled and walked away. I had just started covering a coworker’s thirty-minute break when the woman came through my line, and by the time my coworker came back, I had only gotten through four people total.

Related:
Has Some Serious Bag Baggage, Part 8
Has Some Serious Bag Baggage, Part 7
Has Some Serious Bag Baggage, Part 6
Has Some Serious Bag Baggage, Part 5
Has Some Serious Bag Baggage, Part 4

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